Plans to expand Purbeck School using former middle school buildings are abandoned

CLOSED: Wareham Middle School and, inset, Cllr Toni Coombs

CLOSED: Wareham Middle School and, inset, Cllr Toni Coombs

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PLANS to expand The Purbeck School campus with buildings from the former Wareham Middle School site have been abandoned by County Hall.

Civic chiefs have decided against upgrading the middle school campus, with a view to turning parts of it into a new arts block for the neighbouring Wareham secondary.

Instead The Purbeck School, as part of its £8.25million upgrade, will develop new music, art and drama facilities on its main campus.

Dorset County Council education cabinet member Cllr Toni Coombs confirmed: “We had planned to use the former Wareham Middle School to help expand The Purbeck School campus as part of the reorganisation of schools in the area, as we were expecting to cater for two extra year groups at the school.

“Until there was confirmation of the Swanage free school opening, we had to plan for these extra pupils.

“As soon as lower pupil numbers became certain we held a meeting with The Purbeck School and agreed that, although the playing fields were still required, it would be much better for the school to redevelop the music, art and drama facilities on the main campus and not use the former middle school site.”

Exactly what will become of the former middle school, which was closed by Dorset County Council last year as part of its £36.5 million Purbeck Review, a switch from a three to a two-tier education system, is not known.

Cllr Coombs said: “We have no immediate plans for the middle school site but will be exploring a number of options. Right now our priority is to upgrade The Purbeck School for the benefit of the students.”

Work to remodel The Purbeck School’s existing music block is scheduled to begin in March.

“We are creating a large drama studio and the art department is being refurbished,” said Cllr Coombs. “The school will be getting the same type of facilities that they would have done on the middle school site – they will just be part of the main school instead.”

A county council spokesman said there were also concerns about rising repair costs at the middle school site, and that it had been vandalised.

The upgraded pedestrian crossing, put in by the county, will still be necessary because The Purbeck School will be using the sports field at the middle school site, they added.

Comments (5)

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6:08pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Don't get me started says...

The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.
The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been. Don't get me started
  • Score: 1

6:23pm Tue 21 Jan 14

angrymob1 says...

Don't get me started wrote:
The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.
That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to!

I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money.......
[quote][p][bold]Don't get me started[/bold] wrote: The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.[/p][/quote]That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to! I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money....... angrymob1
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Tue 21 Jan 14

mightyturbo says...

£8.25 million on Arts, Drama and Music. What an utter waste of money! That's not to say that these subjects are not relevant but couldn't the money be better spent targeting skill sets that this country desperately requires? Technical, Scientific and Engineering resources perhaps?

I think it's ridiculous that a 16 year old can't change a lightbulb these days yet they can demonstrate it through a song, a painting or interpretive dance!
£8.25 million on Arts, Drama and Music. What an utter waste of money! That's not to say that these subjects are not relevant but couldn't the money be better spent targeting skill sets that this country desperately requires? Technical, Scientific and Engineering resources perhaps? I think it's ridiculous that a 16 year old can't change a lightbulb these days yet they can demonstrate it through a song, a painting or interpretive dance! mightyturbo
  • Score: 1

7:05pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Don't get me started says...

angrymob1 wrote:
Don't get me started wrote:
The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.
That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to!

I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money.......
Isn't it ironic that the school changes were necessary due to falling population/pupil numbers and yet we need more housing. If we get more housing does that mean more pupils needing school space?!!
[quote][p][bold]angrymob1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Don't get me started[/bold] wrote: The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.[/p][/quote]That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to! I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money.......[/p][/quote]Isn't it ironic that the school changes were necessary due to falling population/pupil numbers and yet we need more housing. If we get more housing does that mean more pupils needing school space?!! Don't get me started
  • Score: 2

11:17pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Yankee1 says...

Don't get me started wrote:
angrymob1 wrote:
Don't get me started wrote:
The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.
That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to!

I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money.......
Isn't it ironic that the school changes were necessary due to falling population/pupil numbers and yet we need more housing. If we get more housing does that mean more pupils needing school space?!!
Most people moving into the area are retired, empty nesters, or weekenders.
Housing is too costly for young families; the jobs do not pay the London wages needed to manage a mortgage in Purbeck.

There will not be a huge increase in school children.
[quote][p][bold]Don't get me started[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]angrymob1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Don't get me started[/bold] wrote: The consultation document stating that the middle school would be used massively pre-dates the proposal for a Swanage free school. The free school came about because Dorset County Council defied public opinion and forced through a change from 3 to 2 tier schools in Purbeck. Perhaps the Echo could find out what the actual cost of this exercise has been.[/p][/quote]That is what they are saying....they thought they'd have more pupils when they first planned to use it but now they don't have as many so they are not going to! I do agree that the whole restructuring has been a criminal waste of money but with regards to this particular aspect of it I'd actually prefer the kids to have purpose built facilities on the main campus rather than wasting half the lesson time walking to and from sites. I'm sure the old school site will go for housing as that will raise the most money.......[/p][/quote]Isn't it ironic that the school changes were necessary due to falling population/pupil numbers and yet we need more housing. If we get more housing does that mean more pupils needing school space?!![/p][/quote]Most people moving into the area are retired, empty nesters, or weekenders. Housing is too costly for young families; the jobs do not pay the London wages needed to manage a mortgage in Purbeck. There will not be a huge increase in school children. Yankee1
  • Score: 0

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